Don’t let PR drive a release

When I started working at Yahoo! in a reactionary bit of vision — not really that bad of a vision — was to re-skin Yahoo Mail.  As we all know, information leaks at big companies.  So when we had a fairly clear idea of when Google was going to announce Gmail we of course had to align our release in the general timeframe to insure that Yahoo! got coverage along with Google..

Par for the course and I’m sure we weren’t the first project to have a PR driven deadline..  Of course at launch things went a little sideways.  The fallout of which included mantra’s like “don’t let PR drive a release date” additional process to insure that performance bugs weren’t created, the whole world isn’t supposed to be upgraded in a two hour window… etc. ,etc.

So here I am, startup land, where of course after slogging away at a release for months it goes out against my better judgement — and a list of bugs a mile long and lo and behold it take our service down for a few hours…

You think I would learn, or maybe I’m still an optimist at heart.